Ukraine said on Monday that Russia had reduced its gas shipments and was only sending its neighbour enough to cover Europe’s fuel needs after the two sides failed to reach a compromise price deal.
“We have been informed that gas deliveries to Ukraine have been reduced to zero, with only the volumes sent for transit to European states,” Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan told a government meeting, adding that Ukraine would “ensure reliable gas transits to European countries.”
The BBC reports that the Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom said that from now on, it expected Ukraine to pay for its gas supplies upfront.
The company originally wanted $1.95bn out of $4.5bn owed to it by 6am this morning, but failing that, the organisation ceased supplies and filed a lawsuit against Ukraine’s state-owned Naftogaz in Stockholm’s arbitration court.
“Today, from 10:00 Moscow time, Gazprom, according to the existing contract, moved Naftogaz to prepayment for gas supplies,” Gazprom said.
“From today, the Ukrainian company will receive Russian natural gas only in the amounts it has paid for.”
Gazprom promised to supply other European countries with gas at “full volume”, and made clear that Ukraine was responsible for ensuring the gas passes through the country to other European nations.
The BBC notes that about 15 percent of Europe’s gas supply is Russian gas which is piped through Ukraine.
AFP contributed to this report